Blogs

Essays by a diverse group of writers, in the United States and abroad, engaged in rethinking psychiatry. (The directory of personal stories can be found here, and initiatives here).

Photo of a pig

Pigs in the Hospital: The Collapse of Venezuela’s Mental Health System

7
The directors of the hospital, considering the empty spaces provided by its lack of services, decided to allow “milicianos” to move in, along with their pigs.
Closeup on gloved hands held up as if asking for help

Psychiatry, Violence, and the State: California’s Systematic Failure of Its Unhoused Population

26
California has decided to systematically restrain, incarcerate, forcibly strip, and drug its now sizable unhoused population.
Illustration: man trapped in a bottle of pills tries to scream for help

Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs: How to Produce Smaller Doses Than Those the Drug Companies...

2
Peter Gøtzsche: To reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms, it is necessary to respect the form of the binding curve.
A hand erases a chalk drawing of the world surrounded by stick figures

Over-stressing Stress: American Psychological Association Report Omits Oppression

13
Despite noting financial problems, global conflict, and climate crisis, the report was on how individuals could work on their own stress.
United Nations logo in UN headquarters in Manhattan New York City

The New WHO and UN Guidance: Psychiatry Must Entirely Change

27
According to the preeminent health and rights bodies in the world, the WHO and the UN, psychiatry has to change entirely.
Macro photo of thumbtacks holding strings in a network on a blue background

How the Psychosocial Approach Provides an Alternative to the Biomedical Model

14
The biomedical model ignores the social context in which mental distress exists, despite a large body of evidence of that link.
Blue background, transparent pill bottle spills blue and white pills toward camera

Why Do Only Some People Experience Severe Antidepressant Withdrawal?

45
Much of the vulnerability to antidepressant withdrawal may be related not to bipolar disorder, but a trait called “bipolarity.”
A sign in the desert reads "ROAD CLOSED"

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 16: Is There Any Future for Psychiatry? (Part Six)

31
In the final blog in Peter Gøtzsche's series, he presents his concluding thoughts and suggestions for the future of psychiatry.

I Secret Shopped #988 and Three Cop Cars Showed Up Outside My House

51
Although it professes to divert calls away from carceral responses, #988 may actually be increasing involuntary interventions.
Blue background, transparent pill bottle, blue and white pills out of the top

The Challenge of Presenting Antidepressant Risks and Benefits

58
Two goals are in direct conflict for doctors when it comes to antidepressant prescriptions: fully informed consent versus maximizing placebo value.
Illustration: Man trapped in a bottle of pills tries to scream for help

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 16: Is There Any Future for Psychiatry? (Part Five)

14
Discussing how psychiatric drugs lead to a more chronic course for depression and psychosis.
Vector illustration. Head shape with broken prison bars; a man in a suit launches out on a jetpack into a blue sky with clouds.

Madness and Method: Exploring the Realm of Unconventional Reasoning

13
What if madness isn’t a defective form of reasoning, but a distinctive style of reasoning?

Healing From Psychiatric Drug Harm, Part 2: Rational Approaches to Recovery

21
How do I want to live with what happened? I can't change the past, but I can choose how to move forward, focusing on progress, not perfection.

Medication-free Ward in Tromsø, Norway May Soon Close

33
The Tromsø ward has shown that offering patients the option to forgo psychiatric medication, or to taper from the drugs, can be a successful model of care.
Blue background, white pill bottle, blue and white pills out of the top

Antidepressant Withdrawal: A Clinician’s Middle View

49
In the debate about antidepressant withdrawal, I present a middle ground, where the views of both sides are understood to have origins in wanting to help people.
3D illustration of an upside-down maze with business-people falling out of it into a white void

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 16: Is There Any Future for Psychiatry? (Part Four)

2
On the failures of the publicly funded long-term studies and psychiatry’s fraudulent reporting of these results.

The American Journal of Psychiatry’s Answer to MIA: A Silence that Speaks Volumes

21
The American Journal of Psychiatry will not be retracting the fraudulent STAR*D study.
A girl looks sad, blurry through a rainy pane of glass, dark

The War on Suicide Is Making Things Worse

91
While allegedly intended to help, institutionalizing people against their will does more harm than good. Psychiatric coercion is dehumanizing.
Painting of Dostoevsky by Vasily Perov

Dostoevsky: A Psychologist We Can All Learn From

23
Psychology has greatly broadened its scope since Nietzsche’s day and yet his implied criticism is one the discipline is still wrestling with.
Stock photo of a white-coat male doctor holding a screwdriver to the head of a male patient as if to "fix" him.

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 16: Is There Any Future for Psychiatry? (Part Three)

9
Psychiatry forcefully maintains its delusions, even when the most reliable science has shown that their beliefs are wrong.

Grant, Interrupted: An Introduction and Report Back from Oregon

14
We hope the Oregon Health Authority can overcome its critics and get back on track to doing what it set out to do: creating peer support respites led by grassroots groups.

Reality According to Whom? Listening to My Wife—and The Problems with ‘Psychosis’

27
Sam Ruck shares an excerpt from his book "Healing Companions," which describes his life with, and love for, his wife and her “alters.” 
A finger flicks a wooden meeple out of a row of them

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 16: Is There Any Future for Psychiatry? (Part Two)

15
Peter Gøtzsche discusses how critics of psychiatry are silenced in top medical journals and in the media.
Prescription pills and red bottle on Rx form

Reflections on the RADAR Study

50
We still do not have adequate data to guide us on how to best reduce relapse risk; however, I think there are reasons to taper slowly.

Survivors and Families Working Together For Change: A New Project 

14
Based on his lived experience, Ron Bassman describes his efforts to create an educational and support program that links families with survivors.